Written by S. Ablott
First Published


This was the second fishing smack named Ruby owned by Hull smack owner Henry Maddick. The first he skippered and used in a daring rescue of the crew of Ipswich brigantine Ganymede in 1863, for which he was awarded a silver medal.

This Ruby was built at Wray's yard on Burton Stather in 1876, her fishing number was H1032. He also skippered this vessel in the early days, but later employed skippers as he owned a number of fishing smacks. Maddick also owned the smacks Gleaner H678, Diamond H1191 and Adventure, built by Wray & Son.

The Sinking of The Ruby

On the 22nd of December 1884 around 6am, The Ruby was returning to Hull Docks on the flood tide of The Humber, the skipper was William Henry Taylor. The Wilson Liner SS Hero of Hull was lying at anchor in Hull Roads having arrived from Christiania a few hours earlier. The Ruby attempted to anchor, but with The Humber in full flow, the anchor would not hold, causing them to drift up river and across the bows of The Hero.

The Wilson Line immigrant ship SS Hero
© norwayheritage.com

The collision parted the cable of the steamer, causing them also to drift, and cut the smacks' hull below the waterline. The two vessels drifted together up river for a considerable distance, with the smack sinking. The crew of The Ruby managed to get into their boat, and the smack sunk near Pope & Pearson's coal drop, to the west of Albert Dock, near St Andrews Dock. The crew were taken on board the steamer, which sustained only slight damage, and landed safely in Hull.

The wreck was removed on the 22nd of April 1885, as it had caused an obstruction to shipping, being close to the coal drop and dock entrance.

Vessel Details for Ruby

Official Number:75343
Fishing Number:H1032
Vessel Name:Ruby
  • Henry Maddick of Hull 1880
  • Henry Maddick of Hull 1883
  • John A Walker 1884
  • William Henry Taylor 1885
  • Hull
Trade:North Sea Fishing.
Fate:Sank in the River Humber near St Andrews Dock, Monday December 22nd 1884 after collision with the SS Hero of Hull. All crew saved by SS Hero, landed in Hull.


  1. The Mercantile Navy Lists.
  2. The Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle for 1863.
  3. Hull History Centre.
  4. Hull Packet.
  5. norwayheritage.com

Last updated

© 2024 Burton upon Stather Heritage Group

© Background Photograph by Steve Smith.